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The Gospel of Mark is significant in many ways. Not only was it the first Gospel to be written and an important literary source for Matthew and Luke, but it is also best characterized as a witness document, a proclamation of salvation through Jesus Christ, which received its creative impulse from the early apostolic preaching. Mark bears witness to the word of revelation that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.

In this widely praised commentary by William L. Lane, Mark is revealed as a theologian whose primary intention was the strengthening of the people of God in a time of fiery persecution by Nero. Using redaction criticism as a hermeneutical approach for understanding the text and the intention of the evangelist, Lane considers the Gospel of Mark as a total literary work and describes Mark’s creative role in shaping the Gospel tradition and in exercising a conscious theological purpose. By taking care to indicate how the text was heard by Mark’s contemporaries while also placing the study of Mark within the frame of reference offered by modern Gospel research, Lane has constructed a thorough going work that is at once useful to scholars and highly intelligible to nonspecialists.